TONGA captain Sika Manu has revealed using YouTube clips of Mate Ma’a teammates Andrew Fifita and Jason Taumalolo to inspire his Super League form.
Fifita and Taumalolo will spearhead Tonga in their historic rugby league Test against world champions Australia at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.
It comes just over a year after Fifita dramatically walked out on the Kangaroos on the eve of last year’s World Cup to join the Mate Ma’a.
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‘A big opportunity for Tonga’0:00
Rugby League: Tonga coach Kristian Woolf says this weekend’s historic clash against Australia is a massive opportunity in the team’s bid to be one day be considered a tier one nation.
Taumalolo also switched allegiances from New Zealand in a move that inspired the island nation to a fairytale run to the semi-finals.
And now their own captain admitted to going one step further and watching the pair’s NRL highlights to spark his game for Hull FC this season.
“I was telling one of the other boys that I watched a bit of YouTube with Jason and Andrew to get a bit of motivation to get up for my club games,” Manu said.
“It’s crazy to see them doing what they’re doing for our nation.” Asked whether there was any specific he enjoyed viewing, Manu said: “Not really. I just like to watch Jason and Andrew running the ball and doing some damage.
“It’s mostly the bump-offs. They’re (two) of the most dominant attackers in the NRL and I’m sure there’s other boys that do the same as me as well.”
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The Kangaroos are on high alert for their former countryman in Fifita, who has garnered a reputation as delivering on the big stage.
“He’s proven that throughout his career at Origin level. He’s had some big games there and obviously in the grand final when they won it for Cronulla,” Boyd Cordner said.
“He’s an emotional guy and this is an emotional game for them.
“I suppose there’ll be a few Australian jumpers in the crowd, but he’s one of their leaders and looking for a big game.”
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga was reluctant to discuss Fifita’s controversial decision and form ahead of the encounter.
“Andrew made a choice around what’s passionate to him and what’s close to his heart. We don’t criticise that,” Meninga said.
“We believe that that’s what he should do, that’s the right thing to do.
“To be honest with you, we lost last week so this week’s been about our prep and what we have to do well ourselves individually.”
Originally published as Tonga skipper watched YouTube of Fifita and Taumalolo for inspiration
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